Fleeing to Elude a Police Officer in Orlando

It can be an understandable instinct to want to avoid any contact with law enforcement. Especially if police officers feel that they are in danger, they can take an aggressive approach to dealing with the public. These feelings can become even more powerful when behind the wheel of a car or truck. However, it is important to realize that police officers have the right to force a driver to stop if they suspect that illegal activity has occurred. Failing to stop or leaving the scene of a stop without a police officer’s permission is a criminal offense.

A lawyer could help you if you are facing criminal charges related to fleeing to elude a police officer if Orlando. A dedicated traffic violation attorney could explain the laws that govern this behavior, explore the potential punishments for a conviction, and develop a defense against these serious allegations.

Failing to Stop for a Police Officer is a Criminal Offense

Under state law, police officers have the right to demand that a motorist stop on a public street. This stop must be based on reasonable suspicion that a driver has violated the law.

To enforce this power, state law created the crime of fleeing to elude a police officer. According to Florida Statute § 316.1935, it is a felony of the third degree to elude a police officer. This means that a conviction can result in:

  • Up to five years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Five years of probation
  • A loss of license for between one and five years

An attorney could help to further explain the concept of fleeing to elude a police officer in Orlando and the potential consequences of a conviction.

How Might a Person Fight Back Against Fleeing Allegations?

Prosecutors for cases involving fleeing from the police must prove their charge beyond a reasonable doubt. In these specific cases, this can be more difficult than it appears.

The statute cited above says that a person cannot willfully refuse to stop their vehicle or leave the scene of a stop in an attempt to flee the officer. In addition, the defendant must have knowledge that a police officer was attempting to make a stop.

Any of these key points can form the basis for a defense. For example, an Orlando attorney could argue that the defendant had no information that a police officer was trying to stop their vehicle, and thus they could not be seen as eluding the vehicle. They may also raise the point that there was confusion as to whether a defendant was free to leave the scene of a stop. Either of these points may raise reasonable doubt as to the prosecutor’s case and result in a better outcome in court.

Speak with an Orlando Attorney to Discuss Charges of Fleeing to Elude a Police Officer

All drivers must stop their vehicles upon the request of a police officer when on a public road. Even if a police officer does not use their flashing lights or siren, simple hand signals or a verbal command are enough to enforce this demand. Failing to stop one’s car or leaving an officer’s presence without permission are felony charges under state law that can have severe consequences.

A lawyer may be able to help you defeat allegations related to fleeing to elude a police officer in Orlando. They could challenge the assertion that a police officer made a lawful stop, that you did not have permission to leave, or that you willfully disobeyed an officer’s command. Reach out to the Umansky Law Firm now to discover more.

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